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News

Monday Rx: Surprise Billing, EHR, Cyber Crooks, and LACMA Holiday Closure.

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Surprise Billing Remains on Center Stage

Protect patients from surprise bills.

With Congress adjourning for the year in just two weeks, Congressional committees introduced competing proposals to address surprise medical bills before the end of the year. Last week, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension (HELP) Committee and the House Energy and Commerce (E&C) Committee announced an agreement that would protect patients from surprise bills but would pay physicians a benchmark payment rate of median in-network rates. The agreement also sets a $750 single-claim threshold to access a baseball arbitration process. Take more time into 2020 to adopt a more balanced solution.

Our members need to oppose the Senate HELP/House E&C Committee agreement. It is based on the failed California law, which gives for-profit insurance companies too much power at the expense of patients and physicians. Preserve patient access to physicians. California’s AB 72 is eroding access to care. It would be a grave error to impose the California policy mistakes on a national level.

Attached are CMA’s Surprise Billing Principles.

View Here
 

Avoid 6 EHR Trouble Spots

EHRs are increasingly leading to malpractice lawsuits. While EHR-related lawsuits still make up only a small number of lawsuits, user error is the cause of 64 percent of EHR-related malpractice claims, according to the Doctors Company. Practices need to focus on eliminating several common problems, mostly tied to user actions, which have led to the majority of EHR-related suits.

Here are six EHR landmines physicians should avoid:

Don’t copy and paste.

Be careful with drop down menus.

Be mindful of so-called “templates” since they can be outdated.

Be careful of “alert fatigue” such as e-prescribing modules.

Don’t ignore Clinical Decision Support alerts.

Avoid “missing information”.

 

It’s the Holidays and Cyber Crooks Are Busy

Not only are packages left on porches at risk this holiday season, so is your practice. The days before the holidays are some of the busiest of the year for your practice, then you close your doors for the holidays until the beginning of the new year – and in this case a new decade! You think your practice is closed from December 20th to January 3rd, but it’s not closed from the risk of a data breach. Criminals who hack into healthcare practices for their sensitive information don’t take these days off, in fact, they’re more likely to attack during these days as they know the offices are closed so any detection of a hacking will go unnoticed until after the beginning of the year and well after the hacker has gotten the information they wanted.

Before you close your practice doors for the holidays, take a few minutes to check out LibertyID’s unique identity theft and data breach planning and response solution. This is why we have partnered with LibertyID to protect practices from opportunistic cyber criminals.

To learn more contact me or Lauren McGee, LibertyID Fully Managed Identity Theft Restoration at (303) 717-1454 or 
Lauren@LibertyID.com.

LibertyID Solutions
 

A Final Year in Review

As the last Monday Message before the holiday break, I wanted to thank our almost 7,000 members for supporting membership, being active, taking a stand against egregious policies and sharing the LACMA story with fellow physicians. We reached historic numbers relative to membership growth and retention, launched our new civic engagement plan (Docs4LA), kicked off new legislative communications, expanded our benefits portfolio and formed new partnerships to drive value to our members every day. I will share further details later this week with the executive committee and board of directors.

 
 
 
 
Apply for CalHealthCares loan repayment program starting January 13, 2020!

The 2020 application cycle for the CalHealthCares loan repayment program is approaching! CalHealthCares will award $340 million in loan repayments to recently graduated physicians and dentists over the next five years to encourage and incentivize providers to provide care to Medi-Cal beneficiaries. The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) has contracted with Physicians for a Healthy California (PHC) to administer this program.
 
CalHealthCares has approximately $58.6 million for physicians and $10.7 million for dentists for this application cycle for loan repayments of up to $300,000 in exchange for a five-year service obligation. Qualifying dentists can also apply for a practice support grant in exchange for a 10-year service obligation. Please visit our website to view the updated versions of the following documents:

Application Checklist

Employment Verification

How To Calculate Your Patient Caseload

Business Plan Guidelines

Physician Frequently Asked Questions

Scoring Matrix

Instructions on How to Obtain Total Payoff Balance

They will be accepting applications from January 13 to February 7, 2020. We are conducting several webinars so applicants may receive detailed information and receive a response to their individual questions on the spot. Please click the date to register below:

January 9, 2020; 2-3 pm

January 15, 2020; 10-11 am

January 21, 2020; 12-1 pm

January 27, 2020; 5:30-6:30 pm

February 4, 2020; 3:30-4:30 pm

Interested physicians and dentists can visit the link below for more information.
CalHealthCares
 

Year-Round Resolution Calendar:
Reminder Deadline January 21, 2020


January 21, 2020, is the next deadline to submit resolutions. Any CMA member may author a resolution. Resolutions can only be introduced, however, by a delegate, alternate delegate, component medical society or delegation, CMA section or mode of practice forum, the CMA Board of Trustees, or a CMA-recognized specialty society. Members who are not delegates or alternate delegates should contact their county medical society for assistance in identifying an appropriate channel for getting their resolution introduced.
 

Click the link below for more details about submitting your resolutions.

Resolutions
 
#MondayMotivation

Gratitude helps you to grow and expand; gratitude brings joy and laughter into your life and into the lives of all those around you.
–Eileen Caddy


Gustavo Friederichsen
Chief Executive Officer
Los Angeles County Medical Association
“If it matters to our LACMA members, it matters to me.”